‘Popularity of fermented food on rise’

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Fermented food such as kimchi, miso and kombucha is increasing in popularity among Britons, suggests news sales data from online retailer Ocado.

According to the research, searches for ‘fermented food’ on the Ocado website have more than doubled over the last week – rising by 139 per cent, making it one of the most searched terms so far this month.

Some of the most significant sales increases in fermented foods have been seen in raw organic sauerkraut (up 188 per cent compared to last month), Japanese miso ramen (up 95 per cent), and classic kimchi (up 65 per cent).

Know for helping good gut function, fermented products are proving a popular choice to kick off 2023. As 2022 habits are revamped, online searches for recipe inspirations including fermented foods have begun to surge.

Searches for ‘Kimchi’ and ‘Kombucha’ are also on the rise, driving up popularity for the fermented food and drinks trend.

“At Ocado we’re proud of our extensive range of fermented food and drinks, taking inspiration from cuisines around the world,” reports quoted food expert at Ocado Retail, Laura Rowe, as saying.

“From fermented gazpacho with whipped feta toasts, to 10-Minute Kimchi and tofu noodle soup, lamb chops with miso marinade and even sauerkraut-topped reuben dogs, you’ll find an array of funky food recipe inspiration on Ocado.”

The research comes days after Ocado warned that it would not return to profit until the second half of its financial year as even its typically affluent shoppers are feeling the squeeze from higher inflation and energy bills.

Ocado Retail, the joint venture between Ocado and Marks and Spencer, said it expected sales growth in 2023 to be “mid-single digits” and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to be “marginally positive” — significantly below the £35 million that analysts had forecast.

The company’s profit performance in the 12 months ending in November 2023 will determine whether M&S has to pay about £156mn of the remaining deferred consideration, plus interest, for its half-share in the business.

The supermarket experienced much of the same money-saving behaviour that others have reported, including trading down to value lines and a shift from chilled food into frozen.